Half-way through yesterday -at about 3 o’clock – I had a moment of realisation when it dawned on me that it was my dad’s birthday. My dad died when I was seventeen and if he was still alive he would have been seventy yesterday.
Strangely enough at about the same time that I remembered it was my dads birthday I noticed a tweet by @jo_moir that said our new PM Bill English had said ‘he didn’t know what feminism was’. Now under normal circumstances the connection between these two distinct moments would be lost on me. But the thing is (and I’ve never said this publicly) I’ve always thought that Bill English bears a very close resemblance to my dad – and given that my dad was born at the Bethany home for ‘unmarried mothers’ and adopted out – I have to admit that there have been times when I’ve wondered whether dad’s pakeha father may be a relative of Bills.
Anywhoo, all of this is has got me thinking. You see although he never would’ve called himself a feminist, my dad taught me and my sister that we could and always would be equal to any man. He taught me how to throw an upper-cut in order to defend myself, encouraged me to take on every challenge- big or small – and to always always stand up against injustice and for people who couldn’t stand up for themselves. My dad taught me how to be a feminist – despite the fact that his own mother had given him up because this society shunned and shamed her for having him out of wedlock.
So on behalf of my dad – on his birthday – and every other man,woman or child affected by gender discrimination, I’d like to pass on the following message to our PM Bill – if you don’t know what feminism is, get off your lazy ass and google it, dude.